Join us in celebrating Parramatta’s Birthday at Foundation Day on Sunday 3rd November from 11am to 4pm! It’s a huge FREE family day at the historic, beautiful Heritage Precinct in North Parramatta, under the gorgeous blooming jacaranda trees. And part of a 3-day Foundation Festival this year for the first time.
There’ll be something for the whole family to enjoy. With heritage tours, chats with local historians, ‘rare trades’ demonstrations, arts, crafts and skills workshops, live music, market stalls, great food, native animals and biologists, horse and cart rides and kids activities. Plus, you can experience Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo! You just need to BYO a picnic rug! (But even then, there’ll be some bean bags, tables and chairs to sit on)
Parramatta Foundation Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the history of Parramatta. It’s a celebration of Parramatta’s foundation, which occurred on 2nd November 1788 at the Crescent, in what is now Parramatta Park.
Top 5 Things to Do at Foundation Day
There’s so much on offer at Parramatta’s Foundation Day. Enjoy kids shows and activities, historic tours, market stalls, live music, food stalls, classic cars and lots more! Here are our top 5 picks.
1Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Show
Kids (and parents) will have the chance to meet awesome prehistoric creatures and discover the science of paleontology with Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo. There will be two Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo shows at 12pm and 2:30pm. Plus a real dinosaur research scientist available to answer questions.
2Meet the ParraParents Team and Paint Kindness Rocks
Come hang out with some of the ParraParents team under the shade of the jacaranda tree. And get creative painting kindness rocks that you can then ‘hid’ and hopefully make someones day!
You can also chat with the ParraParents team and get recommendations on great local playgrounds and family-friendly cafes. Or share your thoughts on facilities and services available to families.
3Build Giant Lego with Play Leaders and Enjoy Other Kids Activities
Parramatta Foundation Day is jam packed with fun, free activities for kids to enjoy, including: giant lego, art and craft activities, storytelling and horse and cart rides.
4Join in a Creative Arts Workshop
There will be a host of creative workshops throughout the day, including pottery, dance and weaving. Some will have set session times and others will be continuously available. More information will be available once you arrive at Foundation Day.
5Listen to Spellbound Storytime – Multilingual Storytelling
Children can listen to multilingual stories and participate in craft throughout the day. Spellbound Storytime is a multilingual storytelling enterprise developed and delivered by migrant women. It’s a project of the Multicultural Women’s Hub based at I.C.E.
Other Things to See and Do at Foundation Day
6Horse and Cart Rides
Jump on board a FREE horse and cart ride through the Heritage Precinct. NOTE: these rides will run as often as possible throughout the day, but are weather dependant. Last year it was very hot and they had to finish early.
Wander around and browse selected hand-made natural products.
8Talks and Tours
While at Foundation Day you can also learn more about:
- Parramatta Gaol tour with Deerubbin Aboriginal Land Council. BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL
- Parramatta Men’s Shed open day Heritage Walk from CBD to North Parramatta with National Trust president Brian Powyer Dr Paul Willis
- Our literal foundations – Parramatta geology
- Australian dinosaurs Flying Fox camp tour with wildlife ecologists
- Parragirls – Parramatta Female Factory Precinct Association (PFFP) tour and exhibition Friends of the Female Factory site tour
- Parramatta & District Historical Society
- Lancer’s Military Museum personnel
And after all that, you are bound to have built up an appetite! Thankfully there will be a selection of yummy food on offer, including:
- Bitzamalta – pie and pastizzi
- Coon Truck – toasted Cheese Sandwiches (very low price!)
- AJ’s – soft serve & sundaes
- The Juice Guy – fresh juices
- Pull N Shots – coffee and cakes
Sit back and enjoy some live music by the RAPT folk group as well as the retro tunes of the debonair Gramophone Man.
Parramatta Foundation Day will be on the grounds of the beautiful Heritage Precinct on Fleet Street in North Parramatta.
- Public Transport: Free Parramatta Shuttle (aka The Loop) every 10 minutes from 10 stops including Parramatta Wharf Centenary Square and Prince Alfred Park. Alight at the Parramatta Leagues Club and take a 5-10min stroll through the Heritage Precinct to the Foundation Day event site.
- Cycle: From Fleet Street, North Parramatta turn into the little road heading North West for 100 metres to the Fleet Street Heritage Precinct. Bicycle Valets from Addventageous will look after your bike and do free bike check-ups.
- Parking: There is no on-site parking this year and only limited parking on surrounding streets. It would be best to park at Parramatta Leagues Club or nearby and walk to Foundation Day event site.